Our nation is at a crossroads. Deteriorating U.S. infrastructure is impeding our ability to compete in the global economy, and improvements are necessary to ensure our country is built for the future. While we have made some progress, reversing the trajectory after decades of underinvestment in our infrastructure requires transformative action from Congress, states, infrastructure owners, and the American people.

That’s why, every four years, America’s civil engineers provide a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s 17 major infrastructure categories in ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card. Using a simple A to F school report card format, the Report Card examines current infrastructure conditions and needs, assigning grades and making recommendations to raise them.

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Report Card
History

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deteriorating us infrastructure

What Makes a Grade?

The ASCE Committee on America’s Infrastructure, made up of 32 dedicated civil engineers from across the country with decades of expertise in all categories, volunteers their time to work with ASCE Infrastructure Initiatives staff to prepare the Infrastructure Report Card and the US infrastructure grade scale. The Committee assesses all relevant data and reports, consults with technical and industry experts, and assigns grades using the following key criteria:

  • Capacity: Does the infrastructure’s capacity meet current and future demands?
  • Condition: What is the infrastructure’s existing and near-future physical condition?
  • Funding: What is the current level of funding from all levels of government for the infrastructure category as compared to the estimated funding need?
  • Future Need: What is the cost to improve the infrastructure? Will future funding prospects address the need?
  • Operation and Maintenance: What is the owners’ ability to operate and maintain the infrastructure properly? Is the infrastructure in compliance with government regulations?
  • Public Safety: To what extent is the public’s safety jeopardized by the condition of the infrastructure and what could be the consequences of failure?
  • Resilience: What is the infrastructure system’s capability to prevent or protect against significant multi-hazard threats and incidents? How able is it to quickly recover and reconstitute critical services with minimum consequences for public safety and health, the economy, and national security?
  • Innovation: What new and innovative techniques, materials, technologies, and delivery methods are being implemented to improve the infrastructure?

Infrastructure Report Card
Grading Scale

us infrastructure grade
EXCEPTIONAL,
FIT FOR THE FUTURE

The infrastructure in the system or network is generally in excellent condition, typically new or recently rehabilitated, and meets capacity needs for the future. A few elements show signs of general deterioration that require attention. Facilities meet modern standards for functionality and are resilient to withstand most disasters and severe weather events.

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GOOD,
ADEQUATE FOR NOW

The infrastructure in the system or network is in good to excellent condition; some elements show signs of general deterioration that require attention. A few elements exhibit significant deficiencies. Safe and reliable, with minimal capacity issues and minimal risk.

us infrastructure grade
MEDIOCRE,
REQUIRES ATTENTION

The infrastructure in the system or network is in fair to good condition; it shows general signs of deterioration and requires attention. Some elements exhibit significant deficiencies in conditions and functionality, with increasing vulnerability to risk.

us infrastructure grade
POOR,
AT RISK

The infrastructure is in poor to fair condition and mostly below standard, with many elements approaching the end of their service life. A large portion of the system exhibits significant deterioration. Condition and capacity are of serious concern with strong risk of failure.

us infrastructure grade
FAILING/CRITICAL,
UNFIT FOR PURPOSE

The infrastructure in the system is in unacceptable condition with widespread advanced signs of deterioration. Many of the components of the system exhibit signs of imminent failure.

us infrastructure grade

In addition to this national Report Card, ASCE’s sections and branches prepare state Infrastructure Report Cards on a rolling basis, following the methodology of the national Report Card.

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